OPINION: The World Ends With You SHOULDN’T Get a Sequel

Friday, August 31st, 2012

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I love The World Ends With You. It’s one of my favorite JRPGs of all time and one of my favorite games on the Nintendo DS. When Neku first showed up in a screenshot for Kingdom Hearts 3D, I pre-ordered the game right then and there. I didn’t care if the story would be an absolute mess (spoiler, it was). I wanted to see Neku and friends again in that pretty Kingdom Hearts engine. So, you’d think that I’d be excited if Square Enix announced a sequel to this game, right? Well, if Nomura’s treatment of anything he touches is any indication, I’m actually afraid of that.

Kingdom Hearts is another game that was made by Nomura back in the early 2000s. It was a crazy concept with solid gameplay mechanics that surprised everyone with how well it worked. It even had a sequel in the form of Kingdom Hearts II that not only improved on the mechanics of the game, but it (seemingly) wrapped up all the loose ends and brought the story to a close.

But then, as Nomura continued to make more Kingdom Hearts games, the overall plot took a gradual turn on the corner of 4th and Crazy Street. Now we’re at its 3DS installment and there are so many questions raised from post-II games, it’s difficult for fans of the series to follow and practically impossible for newcomers to get into the franchise.

Now imagine if Nomura did that with The World Ends With You. Suddenly, there’s a bunch of new characters running around with the old ones with their own backstories. New concepts are stacked on top of another until the game mechanics become this impenetrable jungle, like what happened to the main Pokemon games and several trading card games. Plot twists after plot twists keep popping up that only serve to confuse people even further. Now you’re left with a franchise as confusing and impenetrable as…well, as Kingdom Hearts. I doubt anyone would want that.

I know what you’re thinking. “The World Ends With You doesn’t need to have a direct sequel. You can have the next game take place somewhere else with a whole new cast of characters, like the main Final Fantasy games.” A nice thought, but there are still reasons to be concerned. Another game that got the sequel treatment was the critically acclaimed Chrono Trigger, in the form of Chrono Cross.

And here’s where I have to stop talking about it. See, I never actually played Chrono Cross, so I have absolutely no knowledge about it. It would be wrong of me to criticize a game I’ve never played. But our own Jonathan Higgins has played it, so I’ll let him do the criticizing for me on the next page.

About Kyle Emch

Kyle has been studying music at college for about three years now. He's played the piano since he was 6 years old and has been recently been learning how to write music. He has followed the Operation Rainfall movement on Facebook since it started and was happy to volunteer for the website. Just don't mention Earthbound or the Mother franchise around him.

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  • I was perfectly okay with not having a sequel to The World Ends With You, until that damnable countdown began.  Now they’ve wound us up for a sequel, so there had better be one!  Or at least a Wii U remake if they’re going to bother “HD-ing” the sprites for an iOS downport.

  • “But I replayed the game when it came out on PSN, and it sunk in how much
    injustice this game did to the one that came before it, the much more
    celebrated Chrono Trigger”. Well, I played both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross and it sunk in how much
    injustice the first game still does to the one that came after it… I think it’s clear how Chrono Cross improved and deepened the whole time-travelling plot of the saga by adding a new layer of reality to the storyline and the notions of “fate” and “memory” – concepts that St. Augustine stated as fundamental when discussing about time.

    • The [story] of Chrono Cross quite possibly bested Chrono Trigger, but [every other aspect of the game] besides its soundtrack was horrible in comparison to the first. 

    •  We are talking about different games – although both carry the Chrono title – that were made in a different time and for different consoles so it’s barely impossible to compare ’em without bringing up some technological aspects. Music, graphics and narrative could be better on PSX than in SNES, by and example. So Cross was not horrible compared to Trigger: it was only different. But sometimes people find it hard to accept that what is different can also be great.

      On TWEWY’s case I would say that a sequel CAN be great. Or not. What if it ends up being an awesome game? What if it’s even better than the first one? What if it really sucks? Well, we’ll have to play and see by ourselves.

    • I would argue that Chrono Cross has a better battle system than Chrono Trigger.  That of course is my opinion, I find Chrono Trigger’s battle system to be clunky and outdated, with very little in the way of features or depth.

  • Insigma

    Chrono Cross was a mess. There was no guide-free way to even finish the main quest without getting totally and utterly lost and being given the option to pick one or two characters from the giant mix of 40+ to add to your party was another nightmare. Seriously, there’s Serge, Kid, and “Insert random party member here”.

    As a standalone title, it was nice… but as a follow up to Chrono Trigger… It was just too bizarre and too different… not to mention it pushed the basic time travel concept aside and replaced it with a multiple dimension concept. (Yes it mentions time travel but you almost never get the chance to do it)

    Also, too many holes in the plot–check out all the fan analyses and hypotheses, there are dozens of articles on the subject of what exactly went on and how it happened. Sure, there are plenty of moments where you go, “Oh that’s interesting” or “I never thought about time that way” but the game rarely explains anything to you and you’re left feeling confused and you spend HOURS trying to wrap your head around how this multi-dimensional crap actually works in the game (plot-wise).

    At the final scene of the game, I was left with a big “what?” on my face as the game just kinda… ended.

  •  I agree with the game not NEEDING a sequel, a but it would be nice to see one anyway.  I can’t say that I agree with much of your logic on the matter, and using Chrono Trigger/Cross as an example was also a bad idea. (Before I continue with my reasoning, let me say I’m not trolling, and I actually agree with most of the articles put up by operation rainfall). Honestly, I never saw Chrono Trigger as all that good of a game in the first place, and I feel time has done to it the same thing that it has done to FFVII, turned it into a huge hype machine that it really doesn’t have the power to run. Don’t get me wrong I love FFVII, and Chrono Trigger was… passable.. but neither are a good comparison to The World Ends With You in the way you are presenting them. Kingdom Hearts is being milked like crazy, but the thing that really makes the games good (the gameplay) still tend to hold up from what I’ve seen. I’ll admit I haven’t gotten my hands on 3D yet, but I’ve played every other game in the series up to this point. The problem with making a sequel to Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy is that both wells are completely out of ideas, and really the company is just destroying the Series’ Reputations because they don’t know when to stop beating a dead horse (once again, this is coming from a huge final fantasy fan) With The World Ends With You however, they have a world and concept that not only is fresh to square, but is fresh to the gaming industry as a whole. I can think of only a handful of games (on the grand scheme of things) that are set in a present day ‘fantasy’ setting (in fact, the only other ones I can really think of are the Shin Megami Games, Namely Persona) and even less of those have such creative gameplay ideas present in them. I believe that making a sequel to the World Ends With You would be a great thing because gamers who want a change of pace would buy it, thus telling the game industry that we do actually like new ideas and IPs in our collection, not just the same old dead horse time and time again.

  •  I’d love for have a sequel to TWEWY, so I kindly disagree.